The Importance of Drinking Water While Consuming Alcohol

However, you may be able to minimize its severity by following a few simple tips. Alcohol works as a diuretic largely because it suppresses the release of a hormone called vasopressin, which is also known as antidiuretic hormone. With less vasopressin in your system, the body excretes more water, which in turn causes you to pee more (2).

does alcohol dehydrate you

Alcohol is diuretic, meaning it causes your body to lose fluids at a quicker rate than normal. Whether you are enjoying a glass of wine with friends or attending a bachelor weekend, having a plan for rehydration is critical. Thankfully, there are oral rehydration solutions that are packed full of electrolytes to help you rehydrate fast. BIOLYTE is a recovery drink that offers 6.5x more electrolytes than leading sports drinks with only ⅓ of the sugar. By staying hydrated, you can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of dehydration while consuming alcohol.

Why Does Alcohol Dehydrate?

Taking your time, and rehydrating slowly is the best approach. It’s always tempting to throw a glass of wine into your system for every situation, and you always can. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting daily intake to two drinks or less for men or a drink or less for women. These include increased facial lines, oral commissures (lines around the mouth), and increased visibility of blood vessels. If you alternate alcohol and water as you drink you slow your intake of alcohol.

Without enough ADH, your kidneys produce more urine, which can lead to dehydration. If you’ve ever celebrated after work, gone out for a happy hour, or any of life’s special moments with a few alcoholic drinks, you know how it can impact every aspect of you the next day. Symptoms like a pounding headache, sensitivity to bright lights, nausea, and extreme thirst can be linked to fluid and electrolyte imbalances made worse by alcohol consumption. These symptoms are caused by the way alcohol dehydrates you. The more your alcohol intake, the more frequent your urge will be to pee.

Drink Water Before Drinking Alcohol

Remember, the more you drink, the more dehydrated you’ll get. Research has not found a correlation between the extent of electrolyte disruptions and the severity of hangovers, or the impact of added electrolytes on hangover severity. In most people, the body will quickly restore electrolyte balance once the effects of alcohol subside. A lower-alcohol beer, if you don’t drink too many, will be less dehydrating than wine or hard liquor, since beer generally has a lower alcohol content. No matter what you choose to drink, drinking slowly and savoring your drink is a good way to moderate your total alcohol consumption and minimize alcohol’s dehydrating effects. Not only is hydration important after exercise or an illness, it is critical when you are planning on consuming alcohol.

  • Stoutz emphasizes the importance of hydrating before and during drinking, which can minimize how dehydrated you become.
  • The best way to quickly rehydrate is to regain the minerals flushed out due to excessive urination.
  • That way, your liver is clearing the alcohol from your bloodstream while you continue to rehydrate.
  • In fact, a recent poll by market research firm Morning Consult estimated that 19 percent of adults report participating in “Dry January,” in which they abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year.
  • But prolific pee production isn’t the only way alcohol dehydrates you.

But prolific pee production isn’t the only way alcohol dehydrates you. Alcohol delays stomach emptying, which can cause vomiting, a sure way to become dehydrated [1]. For reference, a standard drink—12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor—has 14 grams of alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [3]. Your body’s metabolism can turn some components of alcohol into nutrients and energy. This happens at a rate of about one beer, a small glass of wine, or one shot of liquor per hour. After you take a drink, both the liquid and alcohol contents of the beverage pass through your stomach lining and small intestine into the bloodstream.

Alcohol and Dehydration

Water is flushed out much faster than alcohol is processed. This can increase your BAC significantly if you don’t replenish your body’s supply with a few sips of water as you drink. If you don’t drink enough water with alcohol, you can become dehydrated quickly.

What are the symptoms of dehydration from alcohol?

As a result, alcohol increases urination and excess loss of fluids. The mild dehydration that results likely contributes to hangover symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, and a headache.

It’s also important to realize that if you have alcohol in your bloodstream, it’s still going to cause excess water loss from your kidneys. Good sleep is essential for your health in many ways than you can imagine. And research suggests that a healthy sleep habit (plus regularly having 7 to 9 hours of sleep) may help you optimize your hydration levels. If caffeinated drinks are your go-to for getting your day started, you can rest knowing they won’t significantly dehydrate you. We interviewed researchers and unpacked studies to reveal the… Water is obviously the best source of fluid, but realistically, do other beverages, including alcohol, count toward your daily quota, and if so, how much?

Mother’s Day Recipes the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Due to its diuretic effect, alcohol makes it more likely for an electrolyte imbalance to occur. Although it’s unknown whether alcohol dehydrates muscle, it still has an effect. Medical Disclaimer
The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Is alcohol actually dehydrating?

How does drinking alcohol dehydrate you? One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration, and drinking alcohol dehydrates you faster thanks to its diuretic effects. When your body senses that you're getting dehydrated in general, it produces a hormone called Vasopressin which reduces the need to urinate.

But leave the rehydration aids and electrolyte powders at the door; they’re not doing anything for you. Basically, when you spend a night drinking alcohol, you pee just one extra time compared to if you were spending the night drinking water. These results have been repeated dozens of times in different populations, looking at all different kinds of alcohols and moderate vs. heavy alcohol doses.

New Study Links Cellphone Use to Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure

For example, exercising while drinking can lead to greater dehydration due to increased sweating. Similarly, taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines, can exacerbate alcohol’s dehydrating effects. Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone that regulates body-water balance. Although it’s usually released during mild dehydration to conserve water, alcohol suppresses this release, accelerating its dehydrating effects through urination.

If you’re looking for a hydrating beverage, alcohol won’t make the grade. Alcohol functions as a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more, leaving less fluid in your blood and potentially leading to dehydration. Drinking alcohol decreases the amount of vasopressin (an anti-diuretic hormone that helps the kidneys hold onto water) made in the body. As a result, you will lose water from your body after drinking alcohol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *